How to Build Floating Storage Shelves

Carter Oosterhouse uses extra wall space to add more storage to an entertainment center.


The box shelves look as if they are hanging from the ceiling, but they’re hung from the wall for added strength.

Materials and Tools:

3/4" oak plywood two at 9" x 12" (for the inner sides)
3/4" oak plywood two at 22-1/2" x 12" (for the inner top/bottom)
3/4" oak plywood two at 22-1/2" x 10-1/2" (for the back piece)
3/4" oak plywood two at 12" x 12" (for the outer sides)
3/4" oak plywood two at 24" x 12" (for the outer top/bottom)
3/4" oak plywood two at 1-1/2" x 12" (for the face frame sides)
3/4" oak plywood two at 1-1/2" x 24" (for the top/bottom face frame)
1" brad nails
wood glue
miter saw
5/16" drill
5/16" T-nut
5/16" threaded rod


1. Cut all your pieces to size.


2. Create the inner box by attaching the top and bottom to the side pieces. Glue and attach with 1" brad nails.

3. Attach the back in place with glue and 1" brad nails.


4. To make the shelves look heftier, add a second layer onto the outside of the inner box. Miter the ends of the outer pieces to 45 degrees and attach them with glue and more brad nails. Make sure these sit flush against the front of the box so that the back piece is not as wide.

5. Paint or stain your box.

6. Measure the height you want your floating shelves to sit on your wall and cut the threaded rods 3/4 inches longer than that measurement.

7. Drill two 5/16" holes on the top of your shelf. Make sure these are evenly placed from each side.


8. Place a 5/16" T-nut into the hole and screw in your threaded rod.

9. Attach your shelf to the wall using countersink screws. It will appear as the shelf is hanging from the ceiling.

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